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Four Common Challenges HR Experiences with Talent Analytics

September 24, 2020

People analytics can be immeasurably beneficial to a company; but getting a handle on the best ways to use talent data can be tough. In order to capitalize fully on the opportunities that talent analytics afford, you'll need to be prepared to tackle some common issues HR face when implementation day arrives.

Four Common People Analytics Challenges for HR Professionals

Getting Sizable Amounts of Data Together is Tough

Implementing data initiatives with big implications means you'll need to invest a considerable amount of effort into collecting, storing, and accessing that data.  Most HR professionals don't have extensive training in the realm of data acquisition and usage-- this can prove challenging when you need to analyze data from a variety of places and systems.

BUT - don't "settle".  In the long term, solving the problems of data silos and disconnected data will pay huge dividends.  

Data isn't "Clean"  

Your job titles have changed a zillion times.  Resumes use hundreds of ways to state the same competitor's company name.  New skills, titles and phrases turn up all the time.  Unstructured data is everywhere.  Data from your old systems doesn't fit the formats in your new system.

Yep, there are a LOT of challenges with data that isn't clean.  Handily, there are also a lot of ways you can manage it and a lot of new technologies that help.  Take this one as a given in your project, and instead of ignoring or discarding "dirty" data, decide to solve it.  And if you can't solve it today, be sure you put it in a data lake for later!

Comparing Numbers to Others    

The short answer is:  it depends.

If you think that senior management and your human resources team can benefit from some healthy competition, by all means, loop the team into how their performance stacks up against their peers. If your office is struggling to meet goals or is lagging behind on implementing new techniques, it might be best to save bad news for another time.

Comparison can be an excellent motivator and tool for measuring progress, but the adage about it being the thief of joy is not baseless. You should always be seeking to pull in the best employees you can; they add value to a business' bottom line and can make day-to-day work measurably easier. There's nothing wrong with having high expectations-- just be sure that you keep them in check.

Asking the Right Questions

When it comes time for talent data to be analyzed, many HR pros find themselves wondering whether they're asking the right questions and finding actionable answers at the end of the process. It can be difficult to determine what really matters and what's surface level.

Fortunately, there are a few go-to questions HR professionals can work with to reliably track and measure talent:

  • Is workforce productivity increasing?
    • If not, is it stagnating or decreasing?
  • Where do we source our best talent?
  • Are leaders managing human capital effectively?
  • What are the leading drivers behind our turnover?
  • What's the link between rewards and incentives and employee performance?

At the end of the day, if you want your talent analytics to mean anything, you have to be willing to take the plunge and do the work. Get your data together and get the ball running through easy, actionable steps-- the results will follow in time. If you're interested in learning more about data analytics, contact us today. Our friendly, knowledgeable team will be happy to speak with you about your concerns and begin laying out a roadmap to help you set your data up to much more easily achieve analytics success for your organization. 

Photo by Eduardo Sánchez on Unsplash

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